DOI: 10.3390/drones7080492 ISSN: 2504-446X

Tassel-YOLO: A New High-Precision and Real-Time Method for Maize Tassel Detection and Counting Based on UAV Aerial Images

Hongli Pu, Xian Chen, Yiyu Yang, Rong Tang, Jinwen Luo, Yuchao Wang, Jiong Mu
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Control and Systems Engineering

Tassel is an important part of the maize plant. The automatic detection and counting of tassels using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery can promote the development of intelligent maize planting. However, the actual maize field situation is complex, and the speed and accuracy of the existing algorithms are difficult to meet the needs of real-time detection. To solve this problem, this study constructed a large high-quality maize tassel dataset, which contains information from more than 40,000 tassel images at the tasseling stage. Using YOLOv7 as the original model, a Tassel-YOLO model for the task of maize tassel detection is proposed. Our model adds a global attention mechanism, adopts GSConv convolution and a VoVGSCSP module in the neck part, and improves the loss function to a SIoU loss function. For the tassel detection task, the mAP@0.5 of Tassel-YOLO reaches 96.14%, with an average prediction time of 13.5 ms. Compared with YOLOv7, the model parameters and computation cost are reduced by 4.11 M and 11.4 G, respectively. The counting accuracy has been improved to 97.55%. Experimental results show that the overall performance of Tassel-YOLO is better than other mainstream object detection algorithms. Therefore, Tassel-YOLO represents an effective exploration of the YOLO network architecture, as it satisfactorily meets the requirements of real-time detection and presents a novel solution for maize tassel detection based on UAV aerial images.

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